Fiction/Literature

The Institute by Stephen King

The Institute by Stephen King

Thrilling, suspenseful, heartbreaking, THE INSTITUTE is a stunning novel of childhood betrayed and hope regained.

Deep in the woods of Maine, there is a dark state facility where kids, abducted from across the United States, are incarcerated. In the Institute they are subjected to a series of tests and procedures meant to combine their exceptional gifts – telepathy, telekinesis – for concentrated effect.

Luke Ellis is the latest recruit. He’s just a regular 12-year-old, except he’s not just smart, he’s super-smart. And he has another gift which the Institute wants to use…

Far away in a small town in South Carolina, former cop Tim Jamieson has taken a job working for the local Sherriff. He’s basically just walking the beat. But he’s about to take on the biggest case of his career.

Back in the Institute’s downtrodden playground and corridors where posters advertise ‘just another day in paradise’, Luke, his friend Kalisha and the other kids are in no doubt that they are prisoners, not guests. And there is no hope of escape.

But great events can turn on small hinges and Luke is about to team up with a new, even younger recruit, Avery Dixon, whose ability to read minds is off the scale. While the Institute may want to harness their powers for covert ends, the combined intelligence of Luke and Avery is beyond anything that even those who run the experiments – even the infamous Mrs Sigsby – suspect.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of ItThe Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

Read Excerpt

Excerpt from The Institute, by Stephen King

With the essay included, the SAT test lasted four hours, but there was a merciful break in the middle. Luke sat on a bench in the high school’s lobby, munching the sandwiches his mother had packed for him and wishing for a book. He had brought Naked Lunch, but one of the proctors appropriated it (along with his phone and everyone else’s), telling Luke it would be returned to him later. The guy also riffled through the pages, looking either for dirty pictures or a crib sheet or two.

While he was eating his Snackimals, he became aware of several other test-takers standing around him. Big boys and girls, high school juniors and seniors.

“Kid,” one of them asked, “what the hell are you doing here?”

“Taking the test,” Luke said. “Same as you.”

They considered this. One of the girls said, “Are you a genius? Like in a movie?”

“No,” Luke said, smiling, “but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.”

They laughed, which was good. One of the boys held up his palm, and Luke slapped him five. “Where are you going? What school?”

“MIT, if I get in,” Luke said. Which was disingenuous; he had already been granted provisional admission to both schools of his choice, contingent on doing well today. Which wasn’t going to be much of a problem. So far, the test had been a breeze. It was the kids surrounding him that he found intimidating. In the fall, he would be in classes filled with kids like these, kids much older and twice his size, and of course they would all be looking at him.

One of the girls—a pretty redhead—asked him if he’d gotten the hotel question in the math section.

“The one about Aaron?” Luke asked. “Yeah, pretty sure I did.”

“What did you say was the right choice, can you remember?”

The question had been how to figure how much some dude named Aaron would have to pay for his motel room for x number of nights if the rate was $99.95 per night, plus 8% tax, plus an additional one-time charge of five bucks, and of course Luke remembered. It was a slightly nasty question because of the how much factor. The answer wasn’t a number, it was an equation.

“It was B. Look.” He took out his pen and wrote on his lunch bag: 1.08(99.95x) + 5.

“Are you sure?” she asked. “I had A.” She bent, took Luke’s bag—he caught a whiff of her perfume, lilac, delicious—and wrote: (99.95 + 0.08x) + 5.

“Excellent equation,” Luke said, “but that’s how the people who make these tests screw you at the drive-thru.” He tapped her equation. “Yours only reflects a one-night stay. It also doesn’t account for the room tax.”

She groaned.

“It’s okay,” Luke said. “You probably got the rest of them.”

“Maybe you’re wrong and she’s right,” one of the boys said. It was the one who’d slapped Luke five.

She shook her head. “The kid’s right. I messed up the fucking tax. I suck.”

Luke watched her walk away, her head drooping. One of the boys went after her and put an arm around her waist. Luke envied him.

One of the others, a tall drink of water wearing designer glasses, sat down next to Luke. “Is it weird?” he asked. “Being you, I mean?”

Luke considered this. “Sometimes,” he said. “Usually it’s just, you know, life.”

One of the proctors leaned out and rang a hand bell. “Let’s go, kids.”

Luke got up with some relief and tossed his lunch sack in a trash barrel by the door to the gym. He looked at the pretty redhead a final time, and as he went in, the barrel shimmied three inches to the left.

Editorial Review

Silently whisked away after his parents are murdered, Luke Ellis wakes up in a creepy place called the Institute, surrounded by kids like him with special gifts of telekinesis and telepathy that the sadistic staff want to exploit for the Institute’s own purposes. Cooperate, and you get treats; resist, and you are exiled to the “Back Half” and never emerge. Luke just wants to get out, but how? With a 1.25 million-copy first printing, and, yes, you read that correctly.Library Journal

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About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The InstituteElevation, The OutsiderSleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King) and the Bill Hodges trilogy, End of WatchFinders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and an AT&T Audience Network original television series).

His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller.

His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for 

Expected on: 10 September 2019

AuthorStephen King

Genres: Thriller, Suspense, Horror fiction

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